Smartwatch market in India marked its strongest year-on-year (YoY) growth in 2021, with the fourth quarter recorded as the biggest quarter for smartwatches, according to two research firms. Domestic brands continued to grow in the market and surpassed their Chinese counterparts. Gurugram-based Noise retained its leadership in the market and Fire-Boltt managed to outstrip Chinese player Amazfit. Overall shipments of smartwatches in the country grew by over 9.6 million units in the year.
International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that the watch market in India that comprises smartwatches as well as connected watches grew by 364.1 percent YoY in 2021 to 12.2 million units, up from 2.63 million units in 2020. In the fourth quarter, smartwatch vendors in the country shipped 4.9 million units, which resulted in a 271.2 percent YoY growth. The market research firm said that it was the biggest quarter for wearable watches in the country.
India-based brands doubled their share from the previous year and are now accounting for three-fourths of the overall wearable watch market, IDC said.
Noise led the market of wearable watches, with a 27 percent share in 2021 shipments. The brand grew 410.2 percent annually and also maintained its lead for the seventh quarter in a row in the fourth quarter, according to the data shared by the research firm.
The Noise Colorfit Pro 2, Colorfit Pro 3, and Pulse accounted for a 60.4 percent share of the brand's entire portfolio, IDC said.
After Noise, Boat took the second position with a 25.1 percent market share. Fire-Boltt emerged as the third biggest player in the wearable watch market in the country with an 11.6 percent market share in 2021. It was followed by Chinese contenders Realme and Amazfit.
Top-five watch companies in 2021 as per IDC
|Company ||2021 Market Share ||2020 Market Share ||Year-over-Year unit change (2021 vs 2020) |
|Noise ||27.0 percent ||24.6 percent ||410.2 percent |
|Boat ||25.1 percent ||2.8 percent ||3983.6 percent |
|Fire-Boltt ||11.6 percent ||0.3 percent ||17646.0 percent |
|Realme ||5.6 percent ||15.7 percent ||64.8 percent |
|Amazfit ||5.1 percent ||15.0 percent ||57.3 percent |
|Others ||25.7 percent ||41.6 percent ||186.6 percent |
|Total ||100 percent ||100 percent ||100 percent |
Quarterly performance of the Indian brands was aligned with their growth seen in the full-year 2021. However, Realme saw minimal YoY growth in the quarter, while Amazfit saw negative growth.
“The Indian watch market is thriving with a sharp increase in adoption due to increasing awareness around health and fitness,” said Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India. “As consumers seek the best combination of features, price, and quality; most brands are trying to step up in meeting the changing consumer needs via product design and pricing strategies combined with partnerships and collaborations.”
She added that competition at entry-level price points brought down the average selling price of watches to $61.3 (roughly Rs. 4,600) in 2021 from $122.1 (roughly Rs. 9,200) in 2020.
“This is putting immense pressure on new entrants and other existing brands to differentiate themselves in the market,” she said.
Top-five watch companies in Q4 2021 as per IDC
|Company ||Q4 2021 Market Share ||Q4 2020 Market Share ||Year-over-Year unit change (2021 vs 2020) |
|Noise ||27.5 percent ||24.1 percent ||322.5 percent |
|Boat ||26.9 percent ||5.6 percent ||1676.6 percent |
|Fire-Boltt ||12.7 percent ||0.6 percent ||7786.5 percent |
|Realme ||3.4 percent ||12.4 percent ||0.9 percent |
|Amazfit ||3.2 percent ||14.3 percent ||-15.7 percent |
|Others ||26.2 percent ||42.9 percent ||126.9 percent |
|Total ||100 percent ||100 percent ||100 percent |
Unlike the watch market, IDC said that the market of smart wristbands in the country continued to decline for the eighth consecutive quarter. The wristband shipments dipped by 34 percent annually in the fourth quarter, according to the firm.
Xiaomi maintained its lead in the wristbands market, but IDC said that its shipments declined by 43.7 percent YoY in 2021.
Overall, IDC said that the India wristwear market that comprises smart wristbands and connected watches grew by 141.3 percent YoY in 2021, with 14.4 million units shipped in the year.
It is important to underline that IDC considers both smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy watches alongside basic connected watches that are offered by Noise, Fire-Boltt, and other emerging vendors.
Overall wristwear market growth in 2021 as per IDC
|Product Category ||2021 Shipments (in million) ||2020 Shipments (in million) ||Year-over-Year unit change (2021 vs 2020) |
|Wrist Band ||2.21 ||3.35 ||-34.0 percent |
|Watch (connected watch + smartwatch) ||12.22 ||2.63 ||364.1 percent |
|Total ||14.43 ||5.98 ||141.3 percent |
Similar to IDC, Counterpoint said in its report that the smartwatch market in India saw record growth of over 274 percent YoY in 2021. The market also grew over eight percent in the fourth quarter. The firm also noted that domestic brands captured over 75 percent of the total market shipments in the year.
According to Counterpoint, Noise grew its market share to 27 percent in 2021 from 26 percent in 2020, while Boat managed a 26 percent in the market for the second spot, the firm said.
Similar is the case with Fire-Boltt, which overtook the third position from Amazfit and became the third-largest smartwatch maker in 2021 with a 13 percent share.
Realme and Amazfit dropped to fourth and fifth places, respectively.
While Realme managed a six percent market share in 2021, down from 17 percent in 2020, Amazfit declined to five percent in the year from 11 percent in the previous year, Counterpoint data shows.
Apple and Samsung were also dropped from the list of the top five smartwatch brands in the country in 2021. Apple had a 10 percent share and Samsung had a six percent share in 2020, according to the firm.
In the fourth quarter, Counterpoint data shows Boat followed by Noise captured the India market. Fire-Boltt came third after overtaking Realme. The vendor grew its share to 15 percent in the quarter, with more than 20 models across price bands.
Realme's overall shipments grew 23 percent YoY in 2021, while Amazfit registered a 65 percent YoY growth in shipments, according to Counterpoint.
Traditional smartwatch maker Apple remained flat in 2021, with the Apple Watch SE contributing around 44 percent of its total volume. The Apple Watch Series 7 shipments, on the other side, crossed 100,000 units in the fourth quarter, the analyst firm said.
In contrast, Samsung grew more than two times in the year, thanks to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series also contributed to over 16 percent of the company's total shipments in the country, as per the report.
Smartwatch market in India is mostly online driven as 78 percent of the shipments came from online channels. Amazon and Flipkart contributed 43 percent and 48 percent share, respectively, Counterpoint said.
“The market is estimated to grow by around 50 percent in 2022 considering the high demand and brands' dedicated efforts to bring additional capabilities to their devices,” said Counterpoint Research Associate Harshit Rastogi.
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